Courtesy Navy NewsStand. (note: Cmdr. Schrader was a USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (Blue) XO)

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gretchen M. Albrecht, Commander Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) — Family, friends, special guests and the officers and Sailors of USS Nevada (SSBN 733) witnessed a crew split and assumption of command ceremony at Marginal Pier at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash., July 12.

Cmdr. Peter Hudson assumed command of Nevada (Gold) and Cmdr. Edward Schrader assumed command of Nevada (Blue).

Nevada entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility Bremerton for a regularly scheduled engineering refueling overhaul February 2008.

Schrader commanded Nevada (Green), made up of the Sailors from both the Blue and Gold crews, during part of it’s time in the shipyard. He has high praise for the hard work the Sailors put into making the boat operational again.

“In the five months since I have been in command, I have seen Nevada transform from a shipyard boat, tied to a pier, to an operational submarine capable of performing its mission,” said Schrader. “I am proud to say that these Sailors worked very hard to complete everything I asked and have amazed me at how they get more proficient every day.”

During their time in the shipyard, Nevada received many upgrades including refueling her reactor, allowing her to remain in service another 20 years. Her crew also received praise for their dedication and positive attitudes.

“Throughout our certification period, I consistently received comments on how high morale was and how positive our Sailors were, something we never expected after such a long shipyard period,” said Schrader. “The Sailors I turn over to Cmdr. Hudson are some of the brightest, hard-working Sailors with whom I have ever had the privilege to serve.”

Sailors of the combined Green crew stood together on the pier until they were ordered to separate. They quickly formed into ranks, the Blue crew and the Gold crew, and the Gold crew Sailors crossed over the brow onto the ship to officially take charge of Nevada.

Nevada (Gold) Chief of the Boat Master Chief Electronics Technician Michael Nilsen is looking forward to taking the boat to sea.

“The crew was very tenacious and driven to get the ship to sea trials on time and that helped build teamwork and camaraderie as a crew,” said Nilsen.

While speaking to guests, Hudson praised his Sailors and spoke of the goals he knows they will achieve.

“My goals for the crew will be to operate safely in port and at sea while completing all required certification in order to return to strategic service on time,” said Hudson. “We will be executing a fast-paced and comprehensive training program to return the ship to fighting shape, and I am looking forward to our first strategic deterrent patrol where we will operate independently in support of national policy.”

Nevada’s next challenge is an upcoming underway where the crews will become proficient in operating the 18,750-ton submarine followed by a demonstration and shakedown operation required to certify the weapons system and commence strategic missions.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/csg9/.

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